If there’s a lament we hear a lot of from our Champagne Divorce Club members, and other mates we have going through horrible break-ups, it’s that their ex thinks they’re useless/stupid/a bad parent/incompetent…the list goes on, but feel free to insert your own criticism in here too.
Know what we’re talking about?
The thing about exes is they know where your soft spots are, and they’re not averse to sticking something sharp and stabby into them – either to gain the upper hand in a conflict situation, or simply because they can.
And so follows the inevitable question: “How can I convince my ex that I’m [insert redeeming feature here]?”
There’s a simple answer to that: you can’t.
A slightly longer answer is: why would you bother?
But here’s the real juice: you have spent X number of years trying to be the right person for your ex, but you weren’t. That’s okay, they’re not the right person for you either.
And no matter who was right and who was wrong and who is a terrible person, you each have the right to move forward and forge a happy life for yourselves, free from the expectations of that person.
If the relationship is over, the time for blame has passed, and now it’s time to put that stuff away. If they still want to tell you that you suck, they’re clearly still working through some stuff.
That stuff, however, is no longer your problem – it’s their stuff to work through. It’s okay to ask your ex to keep their opinions to themselves. It’s okay to tell them you will not be continuing any discussions that start heading down that path.
It’s okay to not want to hear about how they think you’re a terrible money manager, that you chew too loudly, or that you have weird, hairy toes.
Those money skills and those hobbit toes will be perfect for someone else. And more importantly, they’re part of the rich tapestry of you and it’s okay – no, crucial – to love yourself as you are, toes and all.
A break-up is often a great opportunity to get back in touch with yourself, to rediscover who you are (probably someone new since you were last single), and to fall in love with yourself all over again.
(Important note: having flaws does not mean you are not worthy of love. Nobody is without flaws and everyone is worthy of love. Repeat after me: Even though I have hobbit toes, I totally love and respect myself.)
Trying to convince an ex to think highly of you is a fool’s errand, a fast-track to heartbreak, and a colossal waste of time.
You’ve got so many other rad things to be thinking about. If you need to, enlist the help of a friend to remind you whenever you start down a rabbit hole of your need for approval. Just get them to repeat this mantra until you learn it for yourself:
Your ex’s opinion of you is no longer any of your business.
You know whose opinion matters? Yep, yours. Go forth, you fabulous creature, and love the shit out of yourself.
Struggling with separation or divorce? Check out Champagne Divorce Club. Our community and membership program will help you turn your divorce into the best thing that ever happened to you. Check it out here.